Of course, by the time this article meets your eyes, the fastest car around Nürburgring Nordschleife is currently (and hopefully still) the NextEV NIO EP9. Even though it is billed as a “road legal” car, we’d like to look at the Huracán Performante as the more realistic, road-going car that people would actually opt for to bolt across town. Nonetheless, it doesn’t take away the fact that the behemoth gate-crashed the German track’s record time standings with its razor-sharp performance of 6:52.01 min time in October 2016, thanks to test driver Marco Mapelli’s skills as well. How did it scream across the Nürburgring that fast you ask? Here’s where you put on you reading glasses if you haven’t already.
Since it’s early March debut at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, more and more reviews have favoured the car’s heavily improved performance compared to the stock Huracán. The loud consensus is that Lamborghini’s effort of combining new lightweight technologies, active aerodynamics with aero vectoring, a newly set-up chassis, an all-wheel-drive system and a rampaging V10 engine, have pulled off the craziness. This battered performance is down to Lamborghini’s patented ‘A.L.A’ concept, short for ‘Active Lamborghini Aerodynamics’ (Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva).
It has been noted to have transformed the now tamer Huracán, by sprucing and enhancing the car’s cornering, handling and stability characteristics. The A.L.A, which also means ‘wing’ in Italian(the irony!), provides an active variation of aero load for high down force or low drag. The system is completely integrated into the vehicle in terms of design, weight and performance. The front spoiler integrates the electric motor of the front A.L.A system, built in a carbon forged frame with active flaps on the top exterior surface. The rear bonnet is designed around the air ducts to the rear wing as well as the wing pylons. Lamborghini’s Piattaforma Inerziale (LPI) governs all the car’s electronic systems in ‘real time’ and activates the A.L.A system f laps in less than 500 milliseconds. When A.L.A is off, the active flaps inside the front spoiler are closed, generating desired high downforce to aid high speed cornering and full brake conditions.
When A.L.A is switched on, the front flaps are opened by the front electric motor, reducing air pressure on the front spoiler and directing air flow via an inner channel and through the specially shaped underside of the car. This drastically reduces drag and optimizes conditions for maximum acceleration and top speed of more than 325 km/h. In the rear of the Performante, four ducts are installed below the rear bonnet. The two central ducts are always open to allow underhood ventilation and exhaust cooling, while the two external ducts are connected to the inner channels of the rear wing.
Also, when A.L.A is off, the rear flaps are closed, permitting the rear wing to act as a traditional fixed wing. Stability is then enhanced in high speed cornering and full braking by creating maximum vertical downforce; 750% more than a normal Huracán coupé. The Performante’s computer, the LPI, turns on the A.L.A in high throttle conditions, opening the rear flaps to allow air through the rear wing’s inner channels and directing air flow through the ridges underneath the wing. This again, reduces drag and maximizes the car’s acceleration and top speed capabilities. In addition, the rear wing’s inner air channel is split right and left, allowing aero vectoring for high speed cornering. Depending on the direction of the turn, the LPI instructs A.L.A to be switched on in either the right or left side of the spoiler, increasing downforce and traction on the inner wheel, counteracting the load transfer in rolling conditions. This in turn optimizes the chassis’ momentum, requiring a reduced steering angle and improving the car’s overall dynamic stability.
This is but one section of what makes the Huracán Performante the road-raping demon it is. The fact that it carries a suggested retail price of USD 274,390.00 (RM1,187,148.33, before Malaysian taxes/GST ) tells us that there is more to the new Huracán’s inner-workings that makes it quite frankly, a special V10 Lamborghini. Or as Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stefano Domenicali puts it, “This new car represents the powerhouse of Lamborghini DNA and innovation. It illustrates the pinnacle of Lamborghini V10 production car performance to date, on both track and road. We most certainly can’t wait to sample this “powerhouse” once it sniffs some Malaysian asphalt soon enough, and don’t worry, we’ll tell you how it drives for sure.